Reflections of Imagination. Observations from Brantwood and Coniston by Daniel Cooper

“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.”  – John Ruskin (1819 – 1900)

In the year celebrating the bicentenary of John Ruskin’s birth and after an annual residency at the Brantwood Estate last year, Daniel Cooper hosts his new solo show Reflections of Imagination – an exhibition of original drawings and paintings produced from his experiences and connection with a place he describes as his “second home, loaded with special memories and views”.

During his time as resident artist at Brantwood, Cooper has produced an abundance of observations throughout the days and nights spent at the estate and around Coniston, which often sees a variety of weather patterns. Responding with sketches, paintings and photography have been an essential part of Cooper’s practice, and he continues to use the charcoal burnt on the Brantwood estate, together with mixed media. The paintings in Reflections of Imagination are his own personal and emotional responses to the beautiful sights from around Brantwood and Coniston – with the effect of weather, light and cloud dominating his inspiration.

Having a reputation for being an artist concentrating on the skies, Cooper’s eye is often found excited by the dramatic and even sublime happenings from above, from heavy distant rain, dazzling winter sunsets to starry skies, he approaches his subject matter with a degree of romanticism.  Cooper says: “By getting immersed in and around Brantwood and submitting my memories and emotions to paper and canvas, I try to capture the essence of place, and to visually communicate those transient moments in time.”

Cooper’s landscapes capture the forms of nature’s architecture with sensitivity and conviction and expressively combines this with his desire to imagine his own reality based on how he feels, believing that – to quote William Blake; “…to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself”.  

Cooper’s style, use of colour, light and shade evokes comparisons with the artists and contemporaries of John Ruskin such as Samuel Palmer, Casper David Friedrich and, Cooper’s most admired artist, Joseph Mallord William Turner. Ruskin himself both revered and championed Turner’s work, particularly in volume one of the acclaimed critical text on art; Modern Painters.

Cooper began his profession career whilst working at Brantwood around six years ago, and his art has continued to evolve yet maintain a distinctive style, putting him as one of the most well-known and collected landscape artists in the county today.  In the past six years of his professional career, Cooper has exhibited over twenty solo shows, participated in a number of highly acclaimed group shows which included showing his art alongside works by Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin’s former tutor, Samuel Prout. Appearing in publications such as Tatler, The Great Outdoors and Cumbria Life magazine, Cooper’s art has twice reached television audience in the UK and once shortlisted as Cumbria Artist of the Year. His art is shown in galleries across Cumbria and collectors include well known celebrities and he has private and commercial collections worldwide.

“It is an absolute honour and privilege to show solo at this special time at Brantwood; celebrating the bicentenary year of John Ruskin’s birth. Visiting and staying at Brantwood is always a pleasure as the grounds are all too familiar, yet the constantly changing weather changes the atmosphere and mood – perfect for a fresh inspiration.”

Reflections of Imagination begins with its preview on Saturday 8th June 2019 at 1pm, then on display in the Severn Studio at Brantwood, open every day 10.30am-5.00pm.


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b.1985  Shropshire. UK
BA (Hons) Fine Art  Lives in Cumbria, UK.

Based in Cumbria, UK, acclaimed artist Daniel Cooper responds with highly emotional expressions to the sublime weather in the Lake District National Park and Cumbrian landscape, home to arguably some of the most beautiful views in England. Using charcoal and mixed media, Cooper observes reality imaginatively, and aims to communicate the ever changing moods of the land and skies through personal involvement with the landscape.

Event Information

Date & Time:8th June - 23rd July 2019

Brantwood is an independent registered charity - The Brantwood Trust Coniston Cumbria LA21 8AD Telephone: 015394 41396 Fax: 015394 41263